Exercise and Fitness for All Act of 2021 (S. 2504/H.R. 4756)
On July 28, Sens. Duckworth (D-IL), Casey (D-PA), Feinstein (D-CA), and Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Exercise and Fitness for All Act (S-2504) in the 117th Congress. This bill aims to make exercise equipment and fitness instruction fully accessible to people with disabilities. The bill would require the US Access Board to establish guidelines relating to the number and types of accessible fitness equipment gyms and other fitness facilities are required to have. After the Access Board provides guidelines, the DOJ will need to publish regulations relating to the guidelines requiring fitness facilities to provide accessible equipment and classes and ensure that there is at least one staff member trained in providing assistance and in operating the equipment. A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 4756, by Reps. DeSaulnier (D-CA-11) and Young (R-AK-AL).
The Exercise and Fitness for All Act promotes the provision of exercise or fitness equipment, and exercise or fitness classes and instruction, that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored what ACB and our members already knew – that the lack of access to accessible exercise and fitness equipment and instruction are a persistent barrier to equal access and results in deteriorating physical and mental health.
Physical activity plays an important role in maintaining health, well-being, and quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four U.S. adults is living with a disability, including 93 million Americans who are at high risk for severe vision loss. Adults with disabilities are more likely to have obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer than adults without disabilities. Physical activity can reduce the risk and help manage these chronic conditions while improving daily living activities and independence. Physical activity can also reduce the risk of increased functional limitations.
Call to Action
ACB commends Sens. Duckworth, Casey, Feinstein and Blumenthal, and Reps. DeSaulnier and Young for reintroducing the Exercise and Fitness for All Act. We encourage all of our members and friends to contact your elected officials and urge them to support the Exercise and Fitness for All Act in the Senate (S. 2504) & in the House (H.R. 4756).
To contact your members of Congress, you may visit www.house.gov and search by your five digit ZIP code, or www.senate.gov and search by your state, to find their member website and specific contact information. You may dial the U.S. Capitol Switch Board and request your member’s office as well: 202-224-3121.
When emailing your members of Congress and their staff, please urge your Representatives to cosponsor and support H.R. 4756 in the House, and urge your Senators to cosponsor and support S. 2504 in the Senate.
If calling your Representative via their office phone numbers or by connecting through the Capitol Switch Board (202-224-3121), please let them know that you are a constituent and that you would like them to cosponsor the Exercise and Fitness for All Act (S. 2504/H.R. 4756).
When communicating with your members of Congress and their staff, be sure to share your personal experiences when attempting to use fitness or exercise equipment at public facilities. Share with them what it would mean to you to have equal and independent access to the tools and resources to take charge of your health. And ask them to cosponsor the Exercise and Fitness for All Act. Please let the ACB Advocacy Team know the Senators and Representatives you contacted by replying to this message or by emailing: [email protected].
Thank you, and keep advocating!
The ACB Advocacy Team